Belfast Telegraph

Past irrelevant as we renew rivalry with Croatians, says Sigurdsson

 

By Carl Markham

Gylfi Sigurdsson insists previous results will count for nothing when Iceland face familiar foes Croatia in a crucial Group D clash tonight (7pm).

The nations reached the tournament in Russia by qualifying from the same group, with Iceland topping the table to secure a first World Cup appearance.

They had missed out four years earlier after suffering a two-legged play-off defeat to Croatia, though their last meeting saw Hordur Magnusson grab a 90th-minute winner for Heimir Hallgrimsson's side in June 2017.

Iceland need a similar result in Rostov-on-Don to progress to the knockout rounds alongside Croatia, with Sigurdsson admitting they have "nothing to lose" if they are to avoid an early exit.

Having opened their campaign with an impressive 1-1 draw against Argentina, Iceland's last-16 hopes suffered a blow with a 2-0 loss to Nigeria last time out.

"I don't think it will change anything that we've beaten them (Croatia) a year ago, or lost to them three years ago," Sigurdsson said. "It's going to be a completely different match. But of course, it's great that we've shown that we can beat them."

Dejan Lovren understands Argentina's concerns over Iceland facing a weakened Croatia team, but maintains Zlatko Dalic's men, who have already qualified, must look out for themselves.

"I fully understand Argentina's concerns," Lovren said. "But we must also think about the fact that we should not be playing the players who have yellow cards."

Belfast Telegraph

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